Talking During Takenoko
What do you get when you cross the Japanese Emperor, the Chinese Emperor, and a giant panda bear? Why Takenoko, of course, a fun board game that will have everyone at the table talking!
Takenoko is a board game that puts players in the shoes of farmers on the Japanese Imperial court, tending to a bamboo garden. The object of the game is to please the Japanese Emperor by growing bamboo in order to feed his royal panda, a symbol of peace that was handed down to him from the Chinese Emperor. Random enough, right? To top off this quirky storyline, the game features cute artwork and figurines that really brings the whole picture into perspective. The storyline and art were what initially drew me in to play this game. So, some friends and I set a date and gathered around the kitchen table to play some Takenoko. We sat down ready to play a board game, and sure enough we did, but ended up getting so much more out of it. There were laughs, stories being shared, and just uninterrupted, genuine conversation.
In a generation of increasing technology, the intimacy of social interaction gets lost as we communicate and congregate around computer monitors, cellphones, and television sets. With our attention being directed at electronic screens that require 100% focus, it can leave us feeling, well, 100% isolated. Being able to pull friends and family away from all the immediate distractions, even if only for a 45minute game of Takenoko, proved to be a really refreshing experience. So perhaps it was the adorable panda sporting a pink umbrella that caught my attention to pick up Takenoko, it was without a doubt the unforgettable laughs and quality time that came unsolicited in that colorfully decorated box which keeps me playing it again and again.